A LONG-RUNNING row over equal pay between male and female York council workers has erupted again, with staff accusing bosses of reneging on a deal.

Members of the trade union Unison say City of York Council management have moved the goalposts and slashed their settlement offers. They say they may now take the matter to employment tribunal, which could leave the council with a hefty bill.

Workers and the council reached an in-principle settlement last year, after a lengthy dispute, but the argument now looks set to wrangle on.

Unison said on Friday that 70 women had packed into the Guildhall to complain to union officials and solicitors about the council’s approach.

Alan Hughes, Unison’s head of negotiations, said: “Unison was poised to go to tribunal over these claims, but agreed to stay proceeding when the council came forward with a reasonable settlement framework last year. Since then, the council’s lawyers have backtracked on the original offers and are currently refusing even to discuss our members’ claims. “Unless the council returns to the original settlement, Unison will return to the tribunal, which will cost York taxpayers even more”.

Bill McCarthy, chief executive City of York Council, said: “We are continuing to work with the union to ensure fairness for staff and council tax payers in York.

“We are happy to discuss any issues with the unions any time.”